Mother and Baby

A guide to baby modelling - How to get your toddler booked for super-cute modelling gigs

Section: Toddler

You know your baby is gorgeous - but is that enough to get him a modelling gig? From what it takes to the cost of getting involved, get clued up on the baby modelling industry.

Since he was born you’ve been inundated with compliments.

‘What a beautiful smile, fantastic eyes, cute little button nose!' If you had £1 for every time someone told you he should be a model you’d be a very rich – as well as proud – mum.

Still, being a baby model is about more than just a pretty face. Welcome to your guide to getting started in the baby modelling business.

A guide to baby modelling:

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What kind of babies make good models?

‘They have to be photogenic, ideally with bright eyes, clear skin and very smiley,’ says Sharon Obee, director of the Truly Scrumptious baby modelling agency in London. But it's about more than just looks.

‘We also want quirky babies with plenty of character – they’ve got to have a sparkle about them,' Sharon continues. 'It’s also about temperament – they’ve got to be good natured and sociable to put up with meeting lots of strangers.’

Need baby photo inspiriation? Just look what these creative parents did with their little one!
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What kind of work could my baby get?

Wherever you see a baby you need a baby model. So he could appear anywhere from a national TV ad for nappies to in-store advertising posters for baby clothes. There’s also the chance to play a starring role in baby care books, appear in magazines or on packaging for baby toys or baby medicine.
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Isn’t it expensive?

In a word, no. You don’t need to splash out on a portfolio of expensive photographs – two up-to-date snapshots will do. You’ll need a close-up of your baby’s face and another full-length shot – and keep it simple – no food, toys or bright clothes.  If the agency agrees to take your baby on, you’ll pay a joining fee of around £100-150. Reputable agencies only pick babies who they know will be snapped up for work. You will also pay around £80 for professional photographs, taken by the agency’s own official photographer, in order to go into the agency’s model book. The agency’s clients use this to choose which baby they want for each shoot. Most shoots are based in London so it’s more practical if you live within or near the M25.
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What happens at a shoot?

The photographer or director sets up the shot they want, and as well as looking at things like light and background, they’ll have a stylist who will decide exactly how your baby looks, too. Most shoots take around two to three hours but TV ads can take longer to film – up to five hours (it’s against the law for a children under five to ‘work’ longer than that). All this will be done to fit around your baby – so there’s plenty of time for him to eat, sleep and take breaks.
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What if my baby won’t stop crying?

Don’t worry – if your baby has been booked you’ll still get paid. For all big TV commercials or ad campaigns they book understudies – or ‘back-up babies’ – in case their star throws a wobbly.
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How much money will my baby make?

Sadly, not enough to retire on. The industry rate for babies per hour is £50 and agencies take 25 percent of that. Even the most hard-working baby will probably only earn around £2000-£3000 a year.


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